RSS This #5

Richard Nesberg
The 2008 US Dejection

With a month or so remaining before Americans select their next President, us citizens have the chance to make one of the most historical political choices in our country’s adolescent existence; either the palatable Senator from Illinois or demon hellhound Governor from Alaska. With the opportunity to put an African-American man or a suburban-hockey-mom lady in the highest of public offices, it is no surprise the media, the populace, and likely the world feel the hysteria, the promise of change on some level—even if it were only demographic in nature.

Except me, sorry. Along with being a historic election, the campaign has been historically, dreadfully long, and therefore boring. For nearly two years, these candidates have been blah-blahing, regurgitating the standard poli-babble with the media voters have built a tolerance to after all this time, and with the actual election weeks away, I’m simply exhausted and surrender my attention.

Adding to this sense of defeat is the perceived fall of the US in every respect—a crashing currency and economy, the rise of foreign economic powers like China and India, not to mention the eight years under Bush (and his disastrous wars and his steady repealing of civil liberties and his asinine disposition in general). Sometimes it truly seems hopeless, as long as the two-party system is used there is no capacity for real change, at least change I can believe in. Whether the next President is McCain or Obama, we’re still fucked because I still only had the chance to vote for Asshole A or Asshole B.

All right, maybe I can’t call them assholes. I’ve never met them. What I mean is that one is a Democrat and one is a Republican, but that is really two sides of the same coin. Pundits get people worked up over the left and right, liberals and conservatives, but it’s such a sideshow. They differ on some issues; sure, but when it comes to deciding whether to continue spending half of the annual budget on military expenses neither will renege on that policy. I thought we got rid of a monarchy. Now it’s like we have a dualarchy, Asshole A or Asshole B…

Neither ticket offers any real change, simply status quo again. The gravity of this election is not invisible to me; I do see the history books being written. Like a bad fantasy movie with decent special effects, I can’t suspend my disbelief long enough to believe real progress will be made on economic, geopolitical, and social issues. At one point in this circus belief in change coursed through me, back when Mike Gravel and Ron Paul were still in the race—now there were some real mavericks, real stewards of change.

The US needs some radicals. We are a modern nation seriously lacking in revolutions, most of which occurring concomitantly with the advancement in civil rights, so maybe electing Obama would make a difference—if only cosmetic at the onset, the ramifications are yet to be soothed and could be monumental. It depends how he handles his time in office. But I don’t think he’ll institute the kind of change I’ve been talking about here; that will require an overhaul of the two-party system, a prerequisite to that likely a call to arms. As Thomas Jefferson wrote in 1787 to William Smith, “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots & tyrants. It is its natural manure.” Not that I’m advocating violence, I’m just trying to find a remedy to the catatonia I’ve been exfoliating in for the last decade or so, by any means necessary, for better or worse.

Maybe after November 4th, after all the vote counting and inevitable recounting, once we can focus on adapting to a new Assho—er, politician—in charge, maybe then the antipathy will subside. I might not believe in change, but perhaps I can hope to believe.

Send angry messages to Richard or join the conversation in the comments.

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